When it comes to Amazon, many beauty brands have reservations about selling on the Marketplace or the platform’s regular retail side. However, if a brand is not on Amazon, its competitors will claim market share. To compete, brands must have a strong omnichannel strategy that prioritizes Amazon.
The customer journey has changed, and it now almost always includes Amazon. According to a Kantar custom survey of U.S. skincare buyers in 2019, 34%–47% of consumers visit the e-commerce site at some point in their purchasing process, even if they don’t end up buying there.
Amazon has become a driving force in the omnichannel beauty buying experience and a full-funnel approach to converting customers. Brands can leverage numerous marketing tactics to drive awareness and conversions on the e-commerce platform. The following approaches will enable marketing teams to leverage Amazon and integrate its opportunities into beauty advertisers’ e-commerce strategies.
Always-on advertising includes search term isolation on Amazon
Search term isolation is an advanced bidding tactic on Amazon. At its simplest, it is bidding on search terms that convert while negating search terms that don’t. It helps scale the core converting keywords, builds rank and improves conversion rates overall while eliminating wasted spend.
This technique is driving significant growth for brands on Amazon. For example, one spa brand that the Blue Wheel team manages sees performance campaigns make up 80% of its revenue on the platform. Based on those results, it has increased investment by 68% year over year.
Ad types: Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ads are driving ROAS
Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ads are valuable when used separately, but they are even more effective when used together. According to Amazon data published in an April 2021 internal report (‘Helping advertisers achieve results with Sponsored Brands’), advertisers who use Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products together saw a 30% average increase in category impression share. They also saw a 16.5% average uplift in ROAS after three months of running these two ads together.
As an example of how the tactic has worked, the brand Bliss was recently able to dominate a given search engine results pages (SERP) by combining Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ads. Beyond that outcome, there are additional benefits to running both ad types at the same time: improved visibility of individual products, lower cost-per-click, visibility on product pages and the ability to feature products relevant to shopping queries.
Sponsored Brands video has become an Amazon must-have
Sponsored Brands video is the newest ad type on Amazon that has increased performance. Based on an internal analysis done by Blue Wheel on their Amazon clients, click-through rates for Sponsored Brands video are 59.3% higher than Sponsored Products ads and 53.1% higher than Sponsored Brands ads.
Case in point: When a luxury haircare brand partner of Blue Wheel launched Sponsored Brands video ads in December 2019, there were limited placements for video and overall lower engagement. As more placements became available, the brand created more videos specific to Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs), leading to a significant increase in impressions and sales. Since launching, the brand’s impressions have grown 243%, and ad sales have increased 384%.
Sponsored Display introduces new targeting opportunities
Sponsored Display ads engage audiences, both on and off Amazon, who are in the mindset of browsing, discovering and purchasing products. These cost-per-click ads are ASIN-specific. They also have a new targeting feature for audiences that enables marketers to define the audience reach, help them introduce new products, engage new customers and retarget.
Beauty brands are benefiting from DSPs
Demand-side platforms (DSPs) offer many benefits for beauty brands. Brands can use DSPs to break into an untraditional consumer demographic. For example, they could target a customer in their late 20s with anti-aging products.
The core capabilities of a DSP make it a versatile option for many, although it’s not right for every brand at every stage. With a DSP, marketers can target new customers based on their buying habits, interests and demographic data.
Additionally, brands can re-engage interested users or previous customers with Amazon’s exclusive ASIN retargeting data. Ads are served on and off the platform on a cost-per-impression basis, serving either Amazon-generated creatives or the marketing team’s custom designs.
Successful product detail pages depend on high-quality content
While advertising is certainly the key to succeeding on a pay-to-play platform like Amazon, product detail pages create the greatest opportunity to impact conversion. Optimized product pages will inform visitors about the benefits of a brand’s product and, if done well, will convert them into customers.
There are several main components to a product detail page: the title, bullet points and descriptions, an image carousel and high-quality content.
Each of these has a different impact on rankings and conversion rates. Amazon crawls the title, bullet points and descriptions to determine relevance. Images and high-quality content are used to describe a product further. The visuals count for a lot: Marketers should ask themselves if their images could describe the product to a 5-year-old who couldn’t read.
Optimized Amazon Brand Stores boost returns for beauty brands
An Amazon Brand Store is an opportunity to showcase a brand fully. Brands have a larger amount of customization on this page, allowing them to create category pages to organize products.
Customers also have the ability to follow a brand, allowing brands to send them updates when launching new products. On average, linking a Sponsored Brands campaign to an Amazon Brand Store has a 64% better return than linking to a product listing.
Brands should also include a lifestyle image in the panel, along with related product ASINs to advertise next to the photo. Brand Stores should be updated for seasonality or large sales events, such as Prime Day.
Beauty brands that follow these tactics will find more opportunities for growth and customer retention on Amazon, now and in the future. They can shape their campaigns to match their look, feel and customer expectations, and they can claim their Amazon market share before their competitors win more sales.